I first learned of Ken's bows about 10 years ago. I make custom electric violins, and a number of stringed instrument and bow makers were invited to a "Fiddle Tasting" in Corvallis, OR to display our work. Ken's table and bows were directly across from mine. I went to Ken's table, met him, and asked if I might try one of his bows. He agreed. I placed the bow in my hand and thought:"The balance of this bow is incredible, and the workmanship is superb!" A few minutes later I borrowed an acoustic violin and tried the bow. The finest tones were easy to produce, and the tracking of the bow on the strings was precise and very stable. Using one of Ken's bows gave me, for the first time, insight into what a truly fine bow made by an expert maker is capable of. The bow simply made every aspect of playing, both technical and musical, easier and much more enjoyable. Since that day, when telling people of Ken's bows: "I compare using one of Ken's bows to sitting in a perfectly-engineered car. I only had to hold one of his bows in my hand to know it was singularly well-made and elegant from a technical standpoint. The feeling is similar to sitting in a Tesla or Lamborghini. I could feel the superior quality immediately. I can and do recommend Ken's bows to any and all technically proficient players.
David Burham Violinist in the Eugene Symphony, electric violinist in The Sugar Beets and a performing and recording artist of many different genres.
“Just a quick note a month later to let you know I'm enjoying the bow and recently won an audition with it. I'm now a member of the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra as well as the Houston Ballet! Your bow is helping me achieve the kind of sound I want on the cello.
All the best -
"I consider Ken Altman to be one of the finest bow makers of our time. He recently made a copy of my Dominique Pecatte bow to my complete satisfaction. I find that I am using it more and more as time time goes on. I find it to be very comparable to the original, and in one respect I prefer the copy because I asked him to make it slightly heavier. I couldn't be more pleased".
Former Concertmaster, The Portland Chamber Orchestra.
Former Concertmaster of the Utah, Birmingham, and San Diego Symphony Orchestras,
First violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Studied at the Curtis Institute and Julliard.
"My Altman bow is a delight - agile and straight; making the last movement of Beethoven Eighth Symphony totally possible!"
Violinist, Oregon Symphony
"Throughout my performing career I have owned bows by Pecatte, Simon, Hill, Bultitude, Voirin, and Nurnberger.
But the bow that I just bought from Mr. Altman equals the best of the lot, and surpasses the others. The balance is fantastic due to the correct weight distribution, and the workmanship is exquisite. No bow maker today is any better nor making any better bows at any price. I am also amazed at the reasonable cost for such magnificent work. You can be sure that these low prices will not last for long. I own two of his bows and will buy a third one when we decide on the playing qualities that I would like."
Leroy T. Sellers
Charlotte, North Carolina
"I enjoyed playing the bow all summer and it surpasses my other bow that I was quite fond of! I played 48 shows of Aida which could make one crazy, but I often just admired the bow!!"
Assistant Principal Cellist
Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra
"I am very proud to play on my new Ken Altman bow, which was passed on to me by my great teacher Dr. Andrew Galos. In Broadway pits, it gives me the delicate touch necessary for accompanimental figures, and in solo and chamber music, I find I am also able to project to the back row of the hall in the more powerful phrases. The response is clear and strong, and the spiccatos are precise. Thank you for your artistry, Mr. Altman."
Freelance classical, jazz, Broadway soloist, multi-instrumentalist.
"Just letting you know how the bow is after a few weeks of breaking it in. I am still amazed how well it opens up my range in thumb position. With my old bow, I was able to hit those notes, but never made them sing like I am able to do now. I was messing around with Beethoven's 9th and for kicks tried to play the cello melody at pitch during the last solo in the "Ode" movement and exceuted it to the point that my wife was wondering where I picked up a cello from as she never heard me that sweet in that range before."
"It has been about 6 months and I thought you might want to know how the bow you made for me is handling.
As I mentioned before, this bow has opened up the higher register for me greatly. I recently installed some silver wound gut strings to my G and D, and found the notes up to the end of the fingerboard to speak very easy and precise.
Handling is excellent. I am very happy how you managed to keep the bow light yet, have enough robustness to put up with my playing schedule.
It also makes a wonderful conversation piece with many of my peers asking about the maker. I know Hammond and Ashley in WA carried a few of your bows before with good feedback and all the luthiers I talked to up here are impressed with the craftmanship."